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Easy Sunday workout
- Written by: Healthysport
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I woke up and thought of going out to run in the park. But knowing how allergic I can be to tree pollens and mold after heavy rain in South Florida (heavy winds can blow mold from moist dead leaves) I decided to skip the outdoors.
I have those undecided moments when it comes to working out - should I do it or not? Can i delay it? But I have so many things to do. I thought of those potential excuses.
You see, some of us can easily come up with excuses to remain stagnant. Remember the law of Inertia. An object at rest remains at rest, and an object in motion remains in motion at a constant speed and in a straight line unless acted on by an unbalanced force. Somehow my body and brains were in the first state. I just did not want to move.
But there is coffee to brew, laundry to do, house to clean, and garden to attend to. And oh, Home Depot to buy me a soldering iron to bore holes into my plastic pots for my tomato and okra seeds. I dragged myself up and literally pushed it to do the morning tasks. I was done by 11 AM.
Should I proceed to the outdoors to either walk or jog?
I decided, at the spur of the moment, to go to the gym. If I need to avoid allergens, there is always the gym, and to the gym, I went. I did my 3-mile treadmill and it took me around 44 minutes (I maintained a really slow pace) this was followed by elliptical x 20 minutes, I ended the workout with a few minutes of leg strengthening. No big weights, no extensive ranges, no speeding or high intensity. My Sunday workout was as easy as Sunday morning. It felt good.
- Written by: Healthysport
- Hits: 549
My workouts seem to be quite imbalanced. I spend too much time running and not much resistance training. Too much aerobics and less anaerobics. So I feel it necessary to crank up those weights even when I feel my caloric expenditure is not as ‘dramatic’ as when I run. But I put a big question mark to that claim.
There are two ways to burn calories - a light but continuous effort such as endurance exercises like swimming, running, walking etc. This type of endurance exercise can be configured into high, medium, and low intensity. There is a continuous flow of oxygen. Aerobic.
The other way is resistance exercises. These include weight training, high intensity muscle intensive exercises. Spurt, burst and rest. All-out and rest. In other words, your oxygen is depleted quickly by giving it all out too early. You gasp for breath to pay the oxygen debt. Anaerobic.
These exercises require skeletal muscles. I will limit my topic to skeletal muscle since these are the main actors in the exercises I am writing about. The others, like striated, cardiac, smooth aren’t included in this blog.
There are two types of muscles needed for these exercises. The red muscles/fast twitch and white muscles/slow twitch.The red muscles are usually the muscles for burst/all-out/high-intensity but short anaerobic exercises. While the white muscles are for long/enduring but slow aerobic exercises.
A marathoner builds a higher percentage of the white slow twitch muscle fibers; A weightlifter builds a higher percentage of the red fast twitch muscle fibers. It shows in their builts: a weightlifter or a springer shows good bulky muscles while a multi-distance runner or marathoner looks like he hasn’t eaten for months.
But here's the rub: Those who focus too much on fast twitch strong muscles lack endurance; while those who focus too much on slow twitch enduring muscles lack strength. So if both athletes would get sick and lay on a hospital bed for an extended time, the muscle strength-driven patient may not be able to walk longer than a hundred feet due to easy fatigue. While the endurance muscle-driven patient may be able to walk longer than a hundred feet but his muscles are too weak to do so.
What is needed is a BALANCE among the skeletal muscles of the body. This balance becomes more important as we age. Weak fast twitch muscles reduce the ability to refelxively counter a loss of balance leading to a fall. Weak endurance muscles prevent you from doing longer tasks that are needed for cardio-vascular health leading to all sorts of medical problems. To maintain this BALANCE, we need to work for endurance and strength constantly. Do not get limited to one and ignore the other.
Just like me, I can get enamored with running ignoring the strengthening part of my daily exercises. This can lead to different conditions that may arise:
- Back pain because your core is subjected to high level of rotation without it being prepared
- Iliotibial band due to being overuse without being stretched or warmed up
- VMO which tracks the patella correctly. If ignored, it leads to chondromalacia patella or runner’s knee.
- Running muscles are limited to a certain group of leg and trunk muscles only running the risk of ignoring the supporting muscles around them leading to muscle imbalance.
- And for those 60 and above, you need more muscle balance to counter the risk of falling which becomes more prevalent with age, wear and tear of joints, osteoporosis and neurological integrity. Others may suffer from vertigo and low proprioception. Others (like me) can get head congestion due to sinus allergies and can also affect the sense of balance.
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